Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey signs copies of the New Ireland Forum’s report in May 1984. Haughey initially opposed the subsequent Anglo-Irish Agreement. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Every major political breakthrough requires significant imagination and courage. The Anglo-Irish Agreement was Margaret Thatcher’s Nixon to China mome(...)

Peter Barry, Dick Spring, Garret FitzGerald, Margaret Thatcher, Geoffrey Howe and Tom King at the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985

The Anglo-Irish Agreement of November 15th, 1985 was formally abjured by the British and Irish governments on April 10th, 1998 as a key concession to (...)

‘Migrants  and refugees board a train after they cross  the border between Macedonia and Greece, near the town of Gevgelija.’  Photograph: EPA/NAKE BATEV

Once in a while, Seamus Heaney tells us, something can “catch the heart off guard and blow it open”. This time it was a picture of Aylan Kurdi, a well(...)

 Noel Dorr: raising such matters required a well thought-out approach as it would be wrong for a visiting delegation to make their hosts feel as if they were saying: “We’re better than you.”  ,

Ministers on trade missions should raise concerns about human rights abuses when visiting states where such issues exist, but only to a point their ho(...)

Late British prime minister  Margaret Thatcher photographed in September 2008. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

President Michael D Higgins has described Margaret Thatcher as one of the “most conviction-driven British prime ministers who drew on a scholar(...)